• EXHIBITOR SPOTLIGHT: Taylor Miller, Owner of Hazen Jewelry

    Taylor Miller is not your ordinary 21-year old. A recent graduate of Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, she is not actively seeking an entry-level job like the vast majority of her peers. Instead, Miller has just launched the eCommerce site for her popular jewelry line, which she founded in elementary school.

    As a child, Miller became obsessed with creating jewelry pieces on strings of dental floss with her grandmother’s broken costume jewelry. What began as a hobby quickly turned into an opportunity, and Hazen Jewelry was born. The company has grown 30 percent annually for the past five years and recently launched its first website with purchasing capabilities. So far, her business has sold a combined 25,000 pieces of jewelry to domestic and international buyers at $40 to $500 a piece.

    For Miller, exhibitions and events were, and continue to be a big portion of how she markets her products to both consumers and retail buyers. Exhibitions Mean Business sat down with the young entrepreneur and asked her a few questions about how the exhibitions and events industry has helped Hazen Jewelry flourish.


    Taylor_Miller_HazenJewelry2EMB: How long have you been involved in the exhibitions and events industry?

    Miller: I have been involved in the exhibitions and events industry for 10 years. I started showing at the Atlanta Market in 2005 and have since grown to work the High Point, North Carolina and Dallas Markets.

    EMB: Why did you choose exhibitions and events as a way to market your company?

    Miller: Exhibitions and events provide access to volumes of professionals in the industry that would not otherwise be gathered in one place at one time. At said exhibitions and events, I am able to convey my company’s message and goal to purposeful buyers in a condensed period of time.

    EMB: What keeps you coming back?

    Miller: Exhibitions and events are not only a great opportunity to network and communicate with customers but are also very profitable and vital to a wholesale business model like mine.

    EMB: Tell us about a moment, experience, connection made at an exhibition or event that reminded you why you love what you do.

    Miller: I first met the founder of Vera Bradley, Barbara Baekgaard, while attending my first Atlanta market at the age of 12. She was not only kind and encouraging, but supported my business pursuits by purchasing multiple pieces of my jewelry. For the past 10 years, Barbara has visited me at market each year to share words of encouragement. Barbara is a woman I greatly admire for not only her business sense, creativity, and entrepreneurship, but also for her genuine kindness. I would never have had the privilege of meeting Barbara and many other inspiring individuals and mentors had I not had the privilege of attending events such as market.

    EMB: If you were recruiting new talent to this space, give us your sales pitch in 50 words or less:

    Miller: Creativity and ingenuity run deep and wide. Everyone has a story to tell and something to learn. Create, teach and learn in one place. Welcome to the world of exhibitions & events.

    EMB: Finish this sentence – Without exhibitions and events _______.

    Miller: Without exhibitions and events, it would be much more difficult to do business and grow a business.


    If you have an interesting story about how the exhibitions and events industry has benefited you or your company, please head over to our Get Involved page and submit your answers to our questions.

  • IAEE Advocacy Efforts 2015

    By: David DuBois

    As originally seen in Trade Show Executive Magazine

    2015 marks a new and exciting year at IAEE as we march down our path and closely follow our strategic plan consisting of two distinct pillars – advocacy and education. Let me focus on advocacy for this issue.

    IAEE, along with key industry organizations CEIR, EDPA, ESCA, IAVM, SISO and the US Travel Association, began the Exhibitions Mean Business campaign in 2011 to promote the value of face to face as the primary medium for business growth. Since the initiative began, Exhibitions Mean Business has garnered exposure to more than 285 million people around the world with a publicity value of close to $36 million. That’s not a bad payout for a $940,000 investment from 82 donors! The first phase of the campaign also saw 1,600 stories on online and broadcast news sites and 100 stories in U.S. and international print media.

    Last June, the Campaign embarked upon the first Exhibitions Day to allow exhibitions and events stakeholders to meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to better communicate the various local and macro-economic impact and strength of the exhibitions and events industry to our nation’s GDP.

    In 2014 alone, the exhibitions and events industry contributed more than $69 billion directly to the US GDP.

    The goal for Exhibitions Day was to raise awareness of the exhibitions and events industry among federal legislators and to use this opportunity for direct engagement with members of Congress and their staff, helping to foster a greater understanding of our industry and the impact key policy issues have on the constituents in their states and districts.

    One attendee from the event succinctly summed up the importance of the day, with the following feedback. “I found the briefing on the issues and how they influenced the growth of our events and the industry at large to be eye-opening. I was eager to share that with our congressional representatives to raise their awareness of our industry as a significant driver of jobs and GDP. I was both gratified and horrified at the same time to see how surprised they were to hear how much significance the meetings and exhibitions industry has in the U.S. economy. Seeing that reaction first-hand makes me determined to continue bringing this message to our elected officials so that we are top-of-mind when they are faced with decisions that impact the 1.8 million people working in the industry.”

    As we head into 2015, the campaign has already raised more than $200,000 dollars from 25 donors with the goal of raising $1.2 million to fund Exhibitions Mean Business through 2018. The 2015-2018 campaign is comprised of 5 pillars: advocate – own the role of industry champion with government and other sectors; educate – inform and educate to audiences that shape tomorrow’s workforce; globalize – build visibility around the world; diversify – be present in all media formats when the industry needs a voice; and digitalize – engage audiences across all platforms.

    With the success of the last year’s Exhibitions Day, the 2015 Exhibitions Day has been secured for 9 June in Washington D.C. Once again, IAEE along with major stakeholders from the exhibitions and events industry will march the Hill to meet with state representatives to communicate the immense value that this industry brings to the US economy. The often used phrase, “it takes a village,” has never been more appropriate as we embark upon this next phase of the Campaign.

    I leave you with words from our 2015 chairperson Megan Tanel, “…if we expect change we must do something to affect change.”

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